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Jan 12, 2013 5:30pm PST
in las vegas, to meet alexis wineman, miss montana, with all of the others as they compete for the crown. but her journey unlike any other, her family telling us the stories of the little girl unable to relate to the little girls at school, the hours spent alone, she had autism but they didn't know it. the teacher who once said i don't get paid enough to handle this. but 11 years old, finally answer. a diagnosis. no one thought she would make it here. i'm david. good to meet you. at 18, alexis has defied the odds. the first contestant with autism to compete in miss america. she came with a message for other children with special needs. what do you say to other young people who feel alone? >> i wish they would embrace themselves for who they are. >> reporter: and when she didn't have any friends growing up, i heard you had one best friend? >> oh, yes. in the fourth grade, i had a giant winnie the pooh doll. >> reporter: winnie the pooh, still loyal today. there are so many young women here who have defied the odds from small-town america. from ohio, miss fallen timbers. miss wyoming finan
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